Executive Director for Board of Regents resigns


Max Goldberg/Iowa State Daily

Iowa Board of Regents Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Bob Donley listens to a result of an audit during a meeting in the Great Hall of the MU on Feb 25. 

Maggie Curry

Robert Donley, who has served as executive director (or chief executive officer) of the Board of Regents since 2008, announced his resignation Wednesday, effective July 15, 2017.

The board will accept his resignation during a regularly scheduled meeting in Cedar Falls this Wednesday and Thursday. The announcement comes after Tuesday’s closed session meeting in Ames, where Donley and the institution heads were scheduled for evaluations.

The Des Moines Register reported Josh Lehman, a spokesman for the regents, said Donley had been scheduled to be evaluated as well, but his evaluation was cancelled after he submitted a letter of resignation to the board late last week.

The Board of Regents is a group of nine citizen volunteers who govern the state’s three public universities and two special K-12 schools – the Iowa School for the Deaf and the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School – through policymaking, coordination and oversight.

The Board will appoint an interim executive director, and will initiate a search to fill the position permanently. The interim executive director will not be a candidate for the permanent position, a release said.

The Iowa Legislature capped the salary for Donley’s position at $154,300 in 2008, according to the Des Moines Register. The board has increased his total annual pay in previous years — at times more than doubling the annual salary — through $5,000 bonuses and various deferred compensation packages. A $140,000 two-year deferred compensation package will be paid out July 1, the Register reported.

“It has been a pleasure serving the Board of Regents as Executive Director for the past nine years,” Donley said in a release. “I’ve worked under multiple Board presidents, and with this change in leadership, it is the right time for me to move on and let the next person lead the Board office.”

His resignation comes after a switch in leadership from Bruce Rastetter to Michael Richards.

“Bob Donley has served the Board of Regents and the state of Iowa for nearly a decade,” said Board of Regents President Michael Richards in a release. “We are thankful for the knowledge, expertise and leadership.”

Donley will be in attendance at the meeting on June 8, and additional comments are expected then.